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Saturday, 
September 27, 2003

 



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Regional News | Article published Saturday, September 27, 2003
Davis-Besse test due to end Monday night

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - Davis-Besseís weeklong pressure test - pivotal to restart efforts - was interrupted for several hours starting on Thursday night so FirstEnergy Corp. could address a mechanical problem.

But the utility said it expected to have the nuclear plantís temperature and pressure back to optimum test levels yesterday, pushing the test completion back by no more than a day.

The test now is expected to be finished Monday night, instead of tomorrow. Some preliminary results likely will be released at the end of next week, Richard Wilkins, a FirstEnergy spokesman, said.

The test is considered a dress rehearsal for restart. Officials are trying to see if the reactorís bottom leaks and how the plant is performing after 19 months. It has been idle since Feb. 16, 2002, because of numerous equipment and management issues.

One of the plantís two auxiliary feed-water pump trains was declared inoperable shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday, because its timing was off. After initial efforts to fix it failed, FirstEnergy interrupted the test at 8 p.m. Thursday by lowering the plantís pressure and temperature.

The problem with the feed-water pump train was believed to have been fixed at about 4 a.m. yesterday, allowing the company to start bringing the plantís temperature and pressure back to optimum test levels, Mr. Wilkins said.

During the test the plant is in a nonnuclear mode, at 523 degrees and 2,155 pounds per square inch of pressure. The plant operates in excess of 600 degrees and at 2,200 psi when the reactor is engaged.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants seven days of test data for review. FirstEnergy encountered several delays in starting the test because of various mechanical and performance issues. It got the plant up to its test level at 6 p.m. Sunday, nine days later than planned.




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